July 28, 2020

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Why You May Need an Arrest Warrant First

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for law enforcement. Is there anything more frustrating than learning that the prosecuting or district attorney will not file charges on one of your arrests? Here you are. You’ve worked up the case. Investigated. Developed a suspect. And finally made an arrest. And, after all that, the prosecutor refuses to file charges. For whatever reason. 

In other cases, those involving nonviolent suspects, consider waiting. Get an arrest warrant first. And make the arrest after the warrant is issued. 

But it can be more than just frustrating. Sometimes an arrestee who is not charged will sue claiming false arrest. 

I have another option I’d like you to consider. Get an arrest warrant first. And wait to make the arrest until the warrant is issued. You can conduct the same investigation and identify the suspect. Just like you would if you were going to make an immediate arrest. Just don’t make the arrest until the prosecutor files charges and the judge issues the warrant. 

This approach could be particularly helpful in high profile or politically charged events. I’m talking about protests, demonstrations, and civil disobedience events 

But, like most things we do, it is not black and white. This is not the best approach for all situations. For example, we don’t want dangerous people running around wreaking havoc if we have PC to arrest them. So, if there is any indication that the suspect is violent, or may be violent, you should make the arrest as soon as you develop PC.  

But, in other cases, those involving nonviolent suspects, consider waiting. Get an arrest warrant first. And make the arrest after the warrant is issued. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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